Great Barrier Reef Ecosystem

The complex nature of Great barrier Reef. As well, it discuss the natural and human impacts on this world recognized ecosystem. In addition, it also discuss the traditional and contemporary management practices.

Great Barrier Reef is the longest reef structure in the world & lies along the continental shelf off Queensland’s east Coast. Great Barrier Reef is 15 million years old in the north & 2 million years old in the south. In1981 Great Barrier Reef was listed as World Heritage Area. It is a unique ecosystem of national & international significance that is under threat from a variety of sources. Great Barrier Reef is clearly visible from space & satellite. The imagery from satellite has helped in understanding the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef consists of coral reefs, mangroves & salt flats, rocky reefs, open Ocean and deep sea floor habitats.

Location & Latitude

Great Barrier Reef extends 2300km from Papua New Guinea in the and north of Fraser Island (24 degrees south latitude) in the south. It consists of multiple reefs. Great Barrier Reef world heritage area contains most of the reef extending from Cape York in the north to Lady Elliott Island in the south.


Great Barrier Reef composed of 2900 individual reefs, Reefs range in size from a few thousand sq metres up to 120 sq kilometres. Great Barrier Reef includes 600 Islands. Great Barrier Park Marine Park covers an area of 348 700 sq kilometres.


Great Barrier Reef has four regional variations. They are as follows.

Northern Region

In northern region continental shelf is at its narrowest no more then 50 killometers wide. In this region ribbon reefs on the edge of the continental shelf extend to south Cairns. As well, in this region, ribbon reefs are 25 km long & 500metre wide & are separated by channels.In northern region westward of the ribbon reefs the continental shelf has platform reefs & a variety of patch reefs & low wooded isles.

Central Region

In central region continental shelf widens. In central region, scattered patch reefs & crescent reefs that are orientated towards the predominant south.

Mackey region

In Mackey region continental shelf is widest at 300 km. Pompey & Swain are the dominant reefs.

Southern Region

The southern region consists of a chain of 22 reefs. Continental shelf narrows in Southern region.

In southern region many of the reefs are vegetated.


Corals consist of tiny animals called coral polyps. They have a symbiotic relationship with the microscopic single celled plants. Process waste material from the coral polyp & through photosynthesis produce oxygen & helps the polyp form its calcium carbonate exoskeleton. Coral polyps grow over old corals & build up thick layers over time. Corals feed at night by filtering microscopic zooplankton.

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16 Responses to “Great Barrier Reef Ecosystem”
  1. kamz Says...

    On August 27, 2008 at 10:29 am

    why is this information the same as in my textbook?

  2. Mulisha Says...

    On January 25, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Kamz got a point…i’ve noticed that this information is quite similar to the Macquarie revision guide book

  3. Deila Says...

    On March 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Ya its exacly the same !!!!!!!!!!

  4. Oscar Says...

    On March 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    You should site this page!

  5. Someone sucks Says...

    On April 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    This website is the savior of my life!

    Thank you so much!

  6. classified Says...

    On April 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    cool,this website savess my life

  7. Lina Says...

    On May 6, 2010 at 1:03 am

    cool! lotsa info!

  8. audrey Says...

    On May 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Wow.. I found pretty much everything I needed here for my final project for my oceanography class.. I really wish I would have started with this website. It would have saved me hours, I mean hours of research.

  9. conehead Says...

    On June 26, 2010 at 9:18 am


  10. BOB Says...

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    ITS BOB!!!!!!! HEHEHE LOLZ!!!!!!

  11. BOB Says...

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

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  12. S Says...

    On June 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Bob is lame and this info is wrong.

  13. BLAHBLAHBLAH Says...

    On July 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    how do you find out how the living organisms & the non living factors work together?

  14. Samantha Says...

    On September 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I need help with the ecosystem in the reef, i can’t find any of the animals or anything and i need it all for my project.

  15. zz Says...

    On February 1, 2012 at 12:31 am

    if u want good info on the reef use this website

  16. zz Says...

    On February 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

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